The Role-Play Character (RPC) asset facilitates the creation and configuration of virtual characters that have socio-emotional behaviour. This is achieved by integrating the functionality provided by several individual assets described in D3.1 into a single asset that manages all the behaviour of a character in a unified perception-action loop. As such, the asset provides the game developer with an abstraction of the internal processes of a character that is easier to use and manage compared to having to understand all these internal processes and their connections (the dotted lines in Figure 1).

In this first release, the RPC asset provides integration between the following four assets of D3.1: (1) Emotional Appraisal; (2) Emotional Decision-Making; (3) Social Importance Dynamics; (4) Virtual Human Controller. The integration works as depicted in Figure 1. Firstly, the asset receives as input a list of events that happened in the game environment. These are sent to the Emotional Appraisal asset to determine the character’s new affective state. The Virtual Human Controller asset is then used to express the new affective state in the character’s chosen embodiment. Thirdly, the RPC asset consults both the Social Importance Dynamics and the Emotional Decision Making asset to determine the character’s next action. The selected action, if any, is executed and the whole process is repeated once new events occur in the game world. If the selected action corresponds to a speech act that has an audio file associated, the RPC asset is also able to perform lip syncing in a way that blends naturally with the facial expression of the character.

In addition to the run-time library, an authoring tool was also developed for this release. The tool makes it possible to define and change the configuration files for each of the AI assets used in the character. It also provides access to the authoring tools of such assets.

role-play-asset

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